You are here: Home » International » News » Companies
Business Standard

Covid-19: Apple issues cheapest bonds in years to fund buy-backs, dividends

The technology company raised $8.5 billion by selling four different bonds with maturities ranging from three years to 30 years

Topics
Apple  | US Federal Reserve | Apple Inc

Reuters  |  New York 

Apple
Apple raised $8.5 billion by selling four different bonds with maturities ranging from three years to 30 years

Inc on Monday capitalised on the Federal Reserve's emergency measures in response to the outbreak to issue its cheapest in years, making it the latest blue-chip company to do so to fund stock buybacks and dividends.

Apple's offering illustrates how with the best credit ratings are boosting shareholder returns by tapping cheap debt made available through the Fed's backstopping of the credit markets. shares are virtually flat year-to-date, compared with a 12 per cent drop in the S&P 500 Index.

The technology company raised $8.5 billion by selling four different with maturities ranging from three years to 30 years. It sold a $2 billion three-year bond and a five-year $2.25 billion with coupons of 0.75 per cent and 1.125 per cent respectively, the lowest rates the company has paid on with such durations since 2013, according to Refinitiv IFR data.

The coupons on Apple's 10-year and 30-year bonds were also the lowest the company has paid in the past years, according to the Refinitiv data.

ALSO READ: Apple, Google ban GPS tracking in apps using contract tracing framework

The funds will go toward general corporate purposes, including share repurchases and payments, said in a regulatory filing. During the six months ended March 28, Apple spent $38.5 billion to repurchase its own stock.

The Fed slashed interest rates to almost zero in March and said it would act as buyer of last resort in the investment-grade corporate bond market, in a bid to help cash-strapped access capital markets roiled by the economic fallout from the pandemic.

While the has yet to buy a single corporate bond, the intervention has fueled record issuance by in need of funding, such as Boeing Co, Marriott Inc and Ford Motor Co.

The policy has also allowed financially strong companies such as Apple, which had just over $40 billion in cash as of the end of March, to reduce its cost of capital to the benefit of shareholders.


ALSO READ: Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch gets Magic Keyboard, Intel 10th-gen SoC, and more

In the past week, drugmaker Biogen Inc and U.S. health insurer Anthem Inc have also sold new bonds at low rates, which the companies said were partly to fund share buybacks.

Goldman Sachs & Co, BofA Securities, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were joint book-running managers on the Apple bond offering.

First Published: Tue, May 05 2020. 08:56 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU